Thursday, July 3, 2014

Getting Slammed and Fighting Back

Here is the difference between Democrats and Republicans:  we Dems -- the ones who volunteer and vote -- are doing okay, but we know that there are others who are not.  We understand that we will all do better when we all do better.  We also empathize with those who are struggling.  We see ourselves in them.  Republicans, on the other hand, are focused on getting the most for themselves.  Capitalism, Christianity, even democracy are twisted to their own needs.

So when it comes to getting out the vote, when it comes to firing up the electorate, the republican party knows how to make it meaningful for their voters.  Even if they have to lie.

They make it about jobs, and don't mention that those jobs will underpay and offer no security.  Nikki Haley is running on all those jobs she brought into the state, but neglects to mention that our tax dollars paid for giveaways to those corporations so that they could pay less than they would elsewhere.

On the republican side, the mantra is to cut taxes.  Well, everything else is going up but our taxes, so it makes sense, doesn't it, that what we get for our tax dollars is going to be struggling schools, poor highways, inadequate medical care.  But with the millions of dollars that goes into campaigns, most voters only see the message that their candidate will provide jobs and cut government.  A simple good/bad message.

I just watched the documentary film, Koch Brothers Exposed, and although I have lately been working hard to take our state and country's downward spiral in stride, I have to admit that it brought me to tears.  The Koch brothers, having done their dirty work in attempting to segregate schools and controlling the universities and state government in North Carolina, have set their sights on South Carolina.  They now have three offices in the state, the newest one in Mount Pleasant.  They are of course, going to work to cut taxes, thereby making our government even more ineffective, and continuing the push to privatize education.

Our Supreme Court (and I use the word "our" quite loosely) has made it clear that money talks and the rest of us can just do what we are told.  Shovel money into banning women's reproductive freedom, and the Supremes are all for it.  While corporations have become people and as such have unfettered freedom of speech, as in the ability to buy candidates and elections, the rest of us have lost our own religious liberty, along with the right to the health care we are paying for, equal opportunity in education, and the right to vote.  All with the blessing of the evil Scalia and his right wing-nuts, bought and paid for by the Kochs.

More depressing even than that is that all nine justices voted to allow abusive demonstrators access to abortion clinics, as a freedom of speech issue, apparently not recognizing the irony that we the people can get nowhere near the justices themselves to engage in our own freedom of speech.

So it's been a tough time.  The greedy and powerful are able to control the uninformed and insecure.  We need to fight fire with fire.  We need more wealthy supporters who understand the cost of increased poverty, underemployment, poor education, poor health, low taxes and an unfair tax system.  We need politicians that understand that voters need to know exactly how this bad system affects them.  Sadly, those with health care have been led to believe it will cost them more if others are insured.  They need to see in black and white how much emergency care is costing them, and the jobs that come with health care expansion.  Most of us can't see how bad roads risk lives, but give them dollars and cents of how much wear and tear on their car will cost going over those potholes.  Compare the cost of increasing the prison population versus improving schools.

It saddens me that we have as a nation become so self-absorbed that we are unable to see that what affects one affects us all.  That insecure politicians can be bought so easily.  That the wealthy who now control our elections find it so easy to appeal to the lowest common denominator among us.

But the Koch brothers don't waste their time worrying about the way things should be.  They look at what we are, and they use it.  If we are made vulnerable by our fears and insecurities, then we need our progressive candidates to understand what we are afraid of and explain to us what they can do to help.

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